— Written by Anshul Vashisht
As the University of Delhi (DU) announced its first cut-off, many class 12 pass students are busy deciding on the colleges and courses they wish to take this year. The options are more this year as the DU has enabled a single-from application where students have to decide between colleges and courses after the cut-offs are announced. The admission process begins today.
Apart from the endless options, pressure of parents, friends filling up forms of different colleges are some of the critieria that play-up while selecting the course and college of choice. If you too are making what is deemed as one the toughest decision of scholastic life today, here are some criteria which can help you make the right decision for your career.
Identify your interest: When it comes to identifying your interest, the students can use the ‘Theory of Elimination’. What is that one subject that you just hate? Do you feel that you hate physics and all the numerical questions that come along with it? Do you feel that remembering facts of history and civics is not your cup of tea? Do you get nightmares of those complex names of biology? By asking such questions to yourself, the students can eliminate what they surely do not like. By eliminating such options, the students can finally come to a final decision regarding their interest.
College Vs course: Once you have identified your interest, it is imperative that you give due importance to the course that you wish to select. If you are a student who is interested to study BSc (Hons) physics course, shortlist the colleges that provide that course. However, while choosing the college, keep in mind that the college provides the right opportunities to grow holistically. Check the placement record, experience of professors, training and internship opportunities, cultural activities, clubs’ activities, etc.
Sometimes, you might not get the college with the best placement record. Then, select a college that has experienced academic staff or provides technical or personality training programmes or provides access to clubs that have some national or international reach. The idea is to compromise on one or two factors but not on all. If all the factors are being compromised, select a course that is quite similar to what you want and is being offered by a college in which you are getting a seat. For example, a student can choose BSc physical sciences that combines subjects like physics or chemistry and mathematics. Thus, give priority to the course, then list the factors of various colleges that you cannot compromise upon and make the decision.
Placement record: The moot question is how to check the placement record of a college. Every college boasts of its stupendous placement record. Do not fall in the trap of 100 per cent placements. Many colleges have got certain criteria of allowing only a specific set of students to appear in the placement drives. The colleges, then, claim to provide 100 per cent jobs to those students who get to appear in the placement drive. Even the quality of these placements needs a reality check.
In video | College or course: How to make the choice
However, the students can get in touch with the alumni of the college. Use social media channels to extract relevant information from the alumni. LinkedIn, Facebook etc. can help you to get insights about the real experience of students during their college life. It will also show you a clear picture of what the alumni were able to accomplish after graduating from the same college.
Learning opportunity: While choosing a college, it is important to know the environment of the college. Man is nothing but a product of his environment. If the college provides personality training programmes, internship opportunities and has an association with international clubs, a student will get countless opportunities to grow and learn. However, if the college only focuses on rote-learning and no practical application, it will produce machines that do not have a mind of their own. Traits like the ability to think, innovate, lead and create should be taught in the college. Thus, do proper research about the college by reaching out to their admission team and alumni and asking such relevant questions.
Remember, there are innumerable options even after you get into a college. Don’t get disheartened if you find yourself not in your dream college. Make the most of your college life, work hard and aim for high bollards in the future.
— The author is COO of Twin Win, an ed-tech firm. He is a certified career counsellor from the University of California and Los Angeles.
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